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Tenor: Eastman 52nd St, Alto: P. Mauriat 67RDK, Soprano: Eastern Music Curvy
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As a long time player of saxophone, I have dealt with many a sickness - usually avoiding playing through them but occasionally having to break out the horn and then give it a thorough cleaning afterwards.

However, I have stumbled into new territory of sickness and wonder if anyone else has dealt with something similar.

I woke up Sunday morning with an immense pain shooting through my entire face from the bottom of my eyes to my jaw. I figured I had slept wrong, but it felt like someone had just punched my face over and over again. So i struggled through the day dealing with the pain, and did it for 3 more days before finally going to see a doctor.

The doctor told me of my sinus infection or, rather rhinosinusitus, but it was affecting only the back of my nasal passage and smaller sinus cavaties in your cheeks and above your eyes which were very swollen (I also had no other symptoms of an infection except some slightly swollen glands). Apparently, mine were so swollen they made me feel like I had been hit in the face by a truck. So I was given steroids and some antibiotics and sent on my way, which after many hours finally relieved the pain from my face on Wednesday night.

Well, I decided to play some more saxophone yesterday, and I ran into an interesting issue. I can no longer keep the backed up air pressure from playing from traveling up my nasal passage. It's a very awkward feeling and makes my breathing much more difficult. I am hoping this will fade away as the steroids where off tomorrow, but has anyone else dealt with this?
 

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I'm not familiar with "rhinosinusitis," and I'm not entirely sure what you're describing when you say "I can no longer keep the backed up air pressure from playing from traveling up my nasal passage" (my fault, not yours), but I live with a LOT of sinus issues (severely deviated septum, chronic sinus infections, etc.), so I can relate - especially to the "I feel like I got punched in the face" feeling.

Unfortunately, as you've discovered, nasal mucosal membranes can swell to an absurd degree and cause severe pain. What's more, even with steroids (I use "Fluticasone" on a near-daily basis), it can take a good long while for that swelling to go down. You should be getting some relief soon from the antibiotics and steroids, but it could easily be 1-2 weeks before you're back to feeling 100%. Saline rinse is also something I strongly recommend. And stay REALLY hydrated to thin the mucus and make it easier to drain.

As for playing, yes there are breathing and pain issues when dealing with sinus conditions. I've had days where the pain is so bad in my face (and teeth) that I can't bring myself to form an embouchure. Try not to get frustrated and rest - remember, your body is fighting-off an infection.

Hang tough!
 

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Tenor: Eastman 52nd St, Alto: P. Mauriat 67RDK, Soprano: Eastern Music Curvy
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Much appreciated response. I was very concerned it might have been a nerve issue, but was glad to find that it is far simpler to treat.

I'm not familiar with "rhinosinusitis," and I'm not entirely sure what you're describing when you say "I can no longer keep the backed up air pressure from playing from traveling up my nasal passage" (my fault, not yours), but I live with a LOT of sinus issues (severely deviated septum, chronic sinus infections, etc.), so I can relate - especially to the "I feel like I got punched in the face" feeling.
Rhinosinusitus is the swelling of those membranes and smaller sinus cavaties specifically, and not in your normal nasal passage. To better describe whats going on with the airflow, Imagine you're blowing into your mouthpiece. You've got a steady stream of air flowing into your horn, and it is making the wonderful sounds. However, while you are still blowing air into your mouthpiece, a small amount of the air is also traveling into your sinuses and out your nose. It feels like air is being squeezed passed whatever normally stops air from travelling upwards. Rather uncomfortable. I feel near 100% because of the corticosteroids they put me on, but I wasn't expecting to not be able to control my airstream anymore.
 

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I'm not familiar with "rhinosinusitis," and I'm not entirely sure what you're describing when you say "I can no longer keep the backed up air pressure from playing from traveling up my nasal passage" (my fault, not yours), but I live with a LOT of sinus issues (severely deviated septum, chronic sinus infections, etc.), so I can relate - especially to the "I feel like I got punched in the face" feeling.

Unfortunately, as you've discovered, nasal mucosal membranes can swell to an absurd degree and cause severe pain. What's more, even with steroids (I use "Fluticasone" on a near-daily basis), it can take a good long while for that swelling to go down. You should be getting some relief soon from the antibiotics and steroids, but it could easily be 1-2 weeks before you're back to feeling 100%. Saline rinse is also something I strongly recommend. And stay REALLY hydrated to thin the mucus and make it easier to drain.

As for playing, yes there are breathing and pain issues when dealing with sinus conditions. I've had days where the pain is so bad in my face (and teeth) that I can't bring myself to form an embouchure. Try not to get frustrated and rest - remember, your body is fighting-off an infection.

Hang tough!
Just typing this because my inbox is full and your private message to me got bounced. Then I deleted a whole bunch of stuff to make room. But the gremlins still say it is too full. Tried to contact the moderators, but they will not let me send a message to them, either.

So I thought that by quoting your latest post I could let you know what is going on and why I cannot respond to your private message.

Not sure how to get ahold of any moderators at this point. May try this same move with one of them....
 

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I think main issue not properly hearing yourself, for the rest just take care of yourself
 

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I'm not familiar with "rhinosinusitis," and I'm not entirely sure what you're describing when you say "I can no longer keep the backed up air pressure from playing from traveling up my nasal passage" (my fault, not yours), but I live with a LOT of sinus issues (severely deviated septum, chronic sinus infections, etc.), so I can relate - especially to the "I feel like I got punched in the face" feeling.

Unfortunately, as you've discovered, nasal mucosal membranes can swell to an absurd degree and cause severe pain. What's more, even with steroids (I use "Fluticasone" on a near-daily basis), it can take a good long while for that swelling to go down. You should be getting some relief soon from the antibiotics and steroids, but it could easily be 1-2 weeks before you're back to feeling 100%. Saline rinse is also something I strongly recommend. And stay REALLY hydrated to thin the mucus and make it easier to drain.

As for playing, yes there are breathing and pain issues when dealing with sinus conditions. I've had days where the pain is so bad in my face (and teeth) that I can't bring myself to form an embouchure. Try not to get frustrated and rest - remember, your body is fighting-off an infection.

Hang tough!
It’s just another word for a sinus infection: Rhino=nose, sinus=sinus, itis=inflammation.
 

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As Saxydude writes, Fluticasone helps a lot when used regularly, though because it's a steroid, over the long term it can cause issues, such as bone depletion. If you try a saline rinse, go for a good system like NeilMed. Advil Sinus works wonders too and is convenient, but will eventually ruin your liver. A good home humidifier can help in the cold dry months, depending on your local climate.

You could also try natural anti-inflammatories like turmeric*root; if you go with a powdered form, just be sure it's pure, and not laced with lead. Cayenne can also work, and even peppermint. But in the case of extreme infection, I'd stick with the pharmaceuticals.
 
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